The Harden’s team signature line took a huge design makeover but does it affect its on-court performance? Welcome to the adidas Harden B/E 3 performance review. Let’s get it!
WEIGHT: 417 g. / 14.7 oz
FIT: HALF A SIZE DOWN
RETAIL PRICE: $100
BD RATING: 7.6/10
BEST PLACE TO BUY: adidas.com
As always, starting off with the upper, the Harden B/E didn’t surprise me, well, almost I should say. For the most part, it’s a regular two-type mesh construction. In the front, you get that sock-like, similar to a knit type of mesh which is perfect for this area of the upper since it offers a lot of flexibility, close to your foot fit, and breathability that doesn’t suck. You know what else doesn’t suck in that region, actually, it does apply to the whole upper? Containment. Though there’s nothing crazy good about it either. Good probably would be the easiest way to describe it.
Taking a look further, in the midfoot section of the upper, the mesh set-up makes a quick transformation into a more sturdier version of mesh which is, again, a perfect for the heel area where you want it to be harder for better heel lock-down. Yea, that’s what she said…
Now the only extraordinary thing about this upper is that the lateral side of the heel area is completely covered with velcro material (that soft side) which actually adds extra adjustability to the strap, and overall, it takes away the to stare down at your shoe while adjusting the strap. Pretty awesome quirk.
Our well known and beloved BOUNCE foam is making its appearance yet again, and it’s awesome as usual. There’s really nothing new to say about this set-up other than it’s fast, responsive, and combines a bit of pep in your step type of sensation together with solid court feel in the front. While in the rear portion of the midsole has a bit more exciting things to offer by giving that nice amount impact protection/compression pared up with some bounciness.
Yep, this is one of the best well-rounded cushion tooling in the game right now, which has become adidas’ bread on butter when it comes to basketball sneakers. When you think about it, the Marque BOOST is the only warrior left that features BOOST cushioning. Even the upcoming Harden Vol.4 is rumored to have the Lightstrike foam.
Another one… adidas keeps slapping that G.O.A.T traction pattern left and right on literally every single recent basketball sneaker. And while it seems like one of the safest moves to do, some of the models weren’t actually that good in terms of biting the flor, and the Harden B/E 3, unfortunately, is leaning towards that blacklist. It sort of sits in that awkward spot where it’s definitely not great, but at the same time not terrible either. In other words, I was consistently getting a few millimeters slip & grip type of bite from them. That bite was really strong and aggressive, but that slip at the beginning is definitely something I don’t need while playing. On clean courts, this issue was very little noticeable, though, on semi-dusty to dusty courts this was happening every single damn time whether I’m wiping the bottoms or not. Now talking about wiping, the dust problem wasn’t exceptionally bad or good, regular wiping should keep that slip & grip type of performance alive.
As for outdoor usage, as many adidas models, the B/E 3 is a solid outdoor option. Actually, I found them working for me way better on outdoor surfaces compared to indoors.
It’s a one bootie construction with a burrito-style tongue. Straight from the get-go, it was pretty annoying from me to deal with all of the extra material inside while putting them on and stuff like that. But the more I played in them, the more I got used to it, and started actually appreciate how good of a fit this type of construction is able to create. Plus, combined with the strap and a standard lacing system, the whole set-up let me enjoy the on-foot experience quit a bit.
As for the sizing, adidas yet again giving some love for our wide footers since the B/E 3 does run pretty big & wide. So for that reason, true to size for true wide footers, and half a size down for everyone else.
Before taking them for a first taste of the hardwood, I was pretty skeptical about how solid these could be in the support department, especially the front, that section was looking weak. Luckily, it was a false first impression as the upper did put out some solid containment, no complaints there. Same thing with the heel, the strap was making sure my heel was pushed down and locked-in. While the rest of the support comes from the midsole itself which, like on every recent adidas basketball model out there, is super wide & flat to eliminate stability or tippiness issues. The only brag would be the midfoot area, would have been nice to see some type of cage or something similar to that nature. Other than that, it’s solid.
Due to a lackluster performance in the traction department, the adidas Harden B/E 3 isn’t worth it even with the retail price of $100. But how about for outdoor usage since the traction does perform way better on those surfaces? Still no. Why? Because you do have the DON Issue 1 for the same price that is more supportive, has really solid traction no matter indoors or outdoors, and it’s a signature sneaker with hand-full of sick colorways to choose from.
Want to read more thoughts on the adidas DON Issue 1? Click HERE.